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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

60 mins running! woot!

Ran for 60 mins tonight!!!! wooooooot!  I only planned to run for 30, but I felt good so I kept going.  Made it to 45 and thought I could make it to 60.  Then at 50 mins, I hit a wall and had to distract/talk/convince myself I could make it 10 more mins.  And I DID!!!!!

I have about 4.5 weeks left until the half marathon.  I know I won't be able to run the whole way, like last time (what an accomplishment that was) but I'm getting stronger and being able to at least run an hour to an hour and a half of the 3 hours its going to take me to finish will be a GREAT thing!

I'm still tracking what I'm eating on Livestrong - and doing that plus running = weight loss.  Go figure.  Eating 1200 calories and running actually works.  Ha!  I'm down to 195 today - that's 3 lbs down, so I'm very pleased.

I can't seem to update my weight tracker - anyone else have this problem?  I get an error when I link to try to update it.

I also want to share with you all a little about my band and restriction since I think I'm a bit different than most.  I don't have a lot of saline in my band - I can eat anything and I prefer it that way.  I can eat homemade crusty bread, steak, honestly anything.  The band DOES curb my hunger and the constant thinking about food that I used to have.  The band DOES slow me down when I eat.  I have a hard time eating in the morning sometimes and if I eat late, heartburn haunts me at night.  That's not always the case - but its consistently the case dependent on my hormones.  The reason I always went with low restriction is that I felt really scared when I got stuck and didn't like having a hard time eating raw vegetables or really tough veggies (like broccoli, carrots, celery, etc).    It means I've really been a slow, slow loser.  But I like it this way.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Catecholamines - sprinting a secret to weight loss?

Running is kicking my butt.  My muscles hurt - and my back hurts.  But I know I'm building the foundation to being stronger - so I'm willing to not complain about it much.
I've been reading Runner's World and wanted to share this article.  I think I'm going to add small sprints to the end of my runs to try to get this effect going and especially to get rid of my abdominal, visceral fat!

Sprinting for Weight Loss: Are Catecholamines the Secret?

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Over the past few years, the big buzzword in exercise circles has been "high-intensity interval training" (HIIT, or some variation on that general theme). Study after study has shown that really hammering for short bursts produces the same (and sometimes better) adaptations compared to a typical long, slow "cardio" session. I haven't seen all that much research on HIIT for weight loss, butblogger Rebecca Gardiner pointed me in the direction of an interesting new Australian study (news article herefree full text of the journal article here).
The study itself is encouraging, thought not really earth-shattering. A group of 46 overweight men were assigned either to a control group, or to an exercise program consisting of three 20-minute workouts per week for 12 weeks. The workouts were simple: alternate 8 seconds of sprinting (on an exercise bike) with 12 seconds of easy pedaling, keeping the heart rate in the 80 to 90% of max range. By the end of the program, the participants had dropped 2 kg of fat, and added 0.5 kg of muscle, plus various other positive effects like 17% less visceral fat and improved aerobic fitness. Pretty much what you'd expect, I think.
One thing that caught my attention was the researchers' explanation for why sprinting works better than longer, slower workouts than burn a roughly equivalent number of calories:
Fast sprinting caused the body to release high levels of a specific group of hormones, called catecholamines, which drive the release of fat, especially abdominal and visceral fat, from fat stores so it can be burned by working muscles.
''We don't know why, but moving limbs very fast generates high levels of catecholamine,'' Dr Boutcher, whose findings are published in the Journal of Obesity, said.
That's interesting, and new to me. The journal article cites several earlier papers that have documented this effect, so obviously the idea has been out there for a while. I'll be interested to see what other factors affect catecholamine release, and how big a difference these hormones really make.
As for the workout itself, 20 minutes of alternating 8 seconds hard with 12 seconds easy actually sounds pretty challenging -- that's 60 sprints, albeit short ones! The rationale:
Sprinting for eight seconds raised a person's heart rate while keeping lactic acid release, which make muscles tire quicker, to a minimum, he said.
Hmmm, I thought the "lactic acid makes muscles tired" idea was history by now. Oh well. Still, perhaps the idea of an 8-second sprint is less intimidating for people who haven't done high intensity exercise before, akin to the 30-20-10 workout that Amby Burfoot blogged about recently

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Running with a cold = not fun!

Stupid cold!  I've had it since last weekend and all the pseudophed I'm taking is drying me out.  Today was a battle between feeling tired and knowing I had to run today.  I got on the treadmill and ran for 35 mins without walking at 8pm tonight.  GOT TO GET IT DONE.  I've lost 2 lbs, over the last 2 weeks which is great.

Tomorrow is an all day meeting with some visiting clients, my VP flying in to present also, and then I have to have dinner said clients.  These clients are NOT pleasant - they're arrogant jerks, in all honesty.  So tomorrow is going to be a long day and I won't have time to run so I'll have to exchange it for my rest day and get the run done on Friday.

Hope everyone is having a great week!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New shoes!

I bought a couple pairs of new shoes last week.  I'm short - at 5'4" - so I can use all the height I can get from a pair of shoes.  I don't like to wear high heels - mostly because they're impractical, I tend to always walk fast anywhere I go (esp in the office) and because they're usually not comfortable.  Well, I tried these on and they felt like normal sandals.  So comfortable!  And they were on sale, so I picked them up.  They're brown and the heel is made from a jute like material - so they're casual.  I can't wait to wear them out!  It feels better and better, the more I lose, to wear pretty shoes.  Before heels really hurt my feet.  I'm sure its a combination of losing weight and the fact that platforms are back in style.  Regardless, I'll take any NSV I can get!

On the running front, I missed my long run of 60 mins on Saturday because I was so sore from running last week and all the standing at the concert.  I'm not worried about it, I just remember what my running coach told m which was to NOT make up runs, just pick up where you left off.  I can't tell you what a relief that is - allowing myself to just let it go and pick back up where I left off.  I would usually just beat myself up about missing the run, feel lazy or some other negative emotion.  Keeping it positive really and him 'giving me permission' to just pick up where I left off is so refreshing and new for me.  I'm really focused in the last year on positive emotions, positive self talk and living in the moment.  Really just soaking up the current moment and letting the past and the future go!  Its a constant struggle to really focus on that - but it really works well for me.  I enjoy much more of life this way.

I read something Deepak Chopra said and it struck a chord with me - he said thinking about the past is a waste of energy and time.  We can't change the past.  We spend so much time thinking about something that happened, thinking about someone who did something that upset us, and then we think about the future and what can go wrong, what will go awry and angry about the situation or angry at the person who did something wrong.  But why?  We can't change it.  We also can't affect what that person does in the future.  We also spend and waste soo much of our time living in the future.  We are always thinking about what we need to do next, what we're going to do, where we need to be, how someone else is going to feel about something, who is going to be upset.  Focusing instead on the current moment as it is and enjoying the people around us, the things that we're doing and appreciating the moment we're in is a much more richer experience and more personally satisfying.  It doesn't mean we shouldn't plan the future -we all have hectic schedules.  Its just a reminder to stop fretting and worrying about what's going to happen and instead focus on what you can do today, right now, at this very moment.  Its in those current moments that change happens.  Its in those moments that I get my butt off my bed and make the decision to go run and enjoy the run - and I work to enjoy every minute of it.   I work to focus on not thinking about the past that I can't change, and I don't worry as much or spend all my time thinking through all the possible scenarios of what will happen in the future.  What has already happened, has already happened.  What's going to happen is going to happen - I'll deal with the outcomes then - when they actually happen.  I'm not going to spend minutes and hours thinking about all the possible things that are going to go wrong or how they could go wrong.  I realized I do that A LOT!  So I thought I'd share it with you too.  Stop and just enjoy the seconds that you're in right now!  Its kinda, well, peaceful and it settles me.  I know I can't do it all the time - but I can do it some of the time and thinking and practicing enjoying the single moment I'm in and appreciating the people I'm with has had a positive effect on me.  I hope you take a minute and just exhale and enjoy a few moments today!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The KILLERS and I'm back on the RUNNING track!

I think many of you know how much I enjoy music and live shows.  I've not talked about many of the concerts I've been to lately, but I've GOTTA tell you about the THE KILLERS at the National last night in Richmond.  The National is a beautiful old theatre complete with old wood floors, marble, columns and its just a small venue but has so much charm!  The Killers - for some unknown reason - decided they were going to play there on their way to their normal huge venues (they're playing some Sat and Mon).  They've not toured in a while and decided to get back together and I guess this was just a practice run at a tiny venue for them.  They were AMAZING!!!!!!!  My sisters and I had so much fun - we ate and had drinks at a wonderful underground bar beforehand talking in amazement about the fact that we were in store for what we knew was a once in a lifetime show.  I'm sure they'll never play at this tiny of a venue again - which made it even more incredible!  I took these pics with my cell phone:

We stood for 4 hours prior to the show and during the show.  But it was worth it!  We were right there at the edge of the small stage.  I definitely got a good workout doing all that standing and dancing alone!   But yesterday morning I also got 3 miles knocked out on the treadmill!!  That, combined with 4 hours of standing yesterday, means I'm very fatigued and sore today.  My back is especially sore.  But I really feel back in the groove of running and I'm so proud of myself!  Its nice to feel positive vs. beating myself up with negative thoughts about how lazy I am or how I don't have it together like all those super successful career moms out there who have big jobs and are athletic and make real time to connect with their kids.  You know and their houses are clean too and all the clothes are washed and pressed.  As silly as I know that is, why do I hold myself to those standards?  The great thing about being 43, I think is that I know and actually give myself a break while connecting with my kids in less 'perfect' ways.  I wasn't like that in my 30's.  I wasted a lot of time resenting my inability to be perfect and have it all the way I thought it was supposed to be.  And I have learned in the last few years to appreciate what I have and more importantly appreciate living in the current moment.  Moments like these below where my sweet girl made friends with the dog outside of the breakfast place we love.  *Note she's wearing her doggie ears and pretended she was Wes' (the dog) doggie buddy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Got up and RAN today!

I kept feeling unmotivated and kept finding excuses not to run for weeks now.  This morning I was feeling all sorry for myself after glancing at my agenda for today.  I have meetings literally every single hour today back to back with no breaks.  STRESSFUL!  I know that I NEED to run to relieve the stress and make myself feel strong and get those endorphins in my system.  So I cancelled my 930 call while laying on bed (I used my iPhone) after getting fully undressed for work, pearls and all.  I put my running shoes on and got on the treadmill.
It felt GREAT!!  No pain in the ankles, or knees as I would have expected.  I also was able to run for a full 30 mins without walking.  How can that be?  My pace was normal for me at 13 min miles.  But what matters is I'VE STARTED OVER!  The new running program has officially STARTED!  Woo hoo!  Now I can't wait to take credit for my running on my calorie tracker and synch with Nikeplus and daily mile!  Yay - the hardest part - the beginning is now over!!!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

7 more weeks til the half

Only 7 weeks left until the half marathon that takes place in September.  Funny how the panic I feel in the pit of my stomach isn't about how difficult its going to be b/c I'm not ready......its because September is really only 7 weeks away?  What?  Where did my summer go?
This was a free concert I attended last night at the oceanfront.  It was hot out - but it was nice!  We went out on the boat early, docked and ate breakfast.  Then we spent a few hours out on the water and got to see quite a few pods of dolphins playing around.  I love that!

I ate well today, I'm focusing on making sure I'm eating breakfast and tracking everything as I should.  I've still not gotten my behind up to go hop on the treadmill and start a run.

I hope all of you have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What really makes you happy?

Do you already know what really makes you happy?  And how do you work towards putting those things into your life?   This is and has been a struggle for me all my life.
If I listed the things that really make me happy - none of them can be turned into jobs and generate money to make a solid living.  I would love to do for a living what makes me truly happy - but how?
Today, I stayed home from work, and enjoyed a morning thunderstorm.  It was gorgeous and fresh and cleansing.  I love to light candles in my house and look out the window to watch the rain fall on all the plants and flowers on the deck.  So I did just that!  That makes me happy.
MAC lipstick makes me happy
Making pottery, painting, decorating my house, making 
natural soap and body creams makes me happy.
Cooking dinner for my family makes me happy.
Running on the boardwalk at sunrise makes me happy.
Smelling the water on the ocean makes me happy.
Stand up paddle boarding makes me happy.

If work consumes 75% of our day - how do you fit in the things you love? 
It comes down to planning for it right?
When I'm at work, I have no time to think about anything personal.  Its so consuming mentally and the pace and workload make it impossible to think about anything else.  So when I get home, the day to day work of keeping kids clean, house clean, meals, clothes clean consumes the 3-4 hours I get when I'm home.  By the weekend, I just want to sit, but I have family obligations, grocery shopping, etc.
So how do you find the time?  Most jobs are high stress in their own way, I believe, no matter how much you make or what your position is.  I've learned that over time.  I've made a very high salary and a low one - my stress level was similar in each.  So what's the right answer?  
Do what you love?

Can I watch the rain for a living?
Can I run for a living? 
Can I smell the water for a living?

What do you do to fulfill your happiness?
What makes you happy?
 I took this pic with instagram - while Mr. Coconuts and I were having dinner on the water.  One of my very favorite restaurants ever.  Completely casual, great food, great atmosphere.
 Mr Coconuts enjoying the view.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Back to work tomorrow

I'm not looking forward to going to back to work and not having any time to do all the things that I want to do.  Having this week off and spending it at home, with my kids, has been amazing.  I finally feel unwound - and now I've gotta get back into the crazy game of no time again.

I am going to try to find more time in my day by getting up earlier.  I had gotten into a bad habit of sleeping in late and going to bed later than I'd like.  I need time for myself to run and blog and drink a cup of coffee once in a while - so I've got a plan to begin getting up at 5am.  As long as I'm out the door by 730, it will be good.

I also need to take the time in the a.m. to plan my meals and pack them for the week.  I know I am the most successful when I'm planning out what I'm eating so that I'm eating in a healthy way.  I've got a lot of things planned and purchased for this week so it should be all good!

Next step is to get my treadmill to work.  It would fit in my office, but would be too obvious, so I'm going to put it in an empty office next door and run in the middle of the day.  I'm sure once I get it there, I'm going to wish I had it at home so I could run in the mornings!  We'll see.

I've also started drinking a new breakfast blended smoothie that tastes really refreshing.  The ingredients are:
1/2 cup Vanilla Almond Milk (I prefer trader joe's b/c other brands are way too sweet)
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (fat free)
1 banana
Handful of fresh spinach (about a cup if you used one)
1/2 T almond butter
1 cup ice

Blend it all together and its FANTASTIC!  I worked the recipe into my Livestrong Daily Plate and it returned the following nutrition facts:

Nutrition Facts 

Serving Size: 10 oz

Calories 281
Calories from Fat 47.3

% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5.25g  8%
Saturated Fat 0.25g  1%
Cholesterol 0mg  0%
Sodium 254.79mg  10%
Total Carbohydrate 42.57g   14%
Dietary Fiber 10.38g  41%
Sugars 24.75g
Protein 19.63g  39%

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/recipes/trader-joe-almond-milk-greek-yogurt-banana-spinach-breakfast-smoothie/#ixzz205X3xiGv

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hope everyone is doing well

I've taken my first vacation week, at home, with the kids.  We've had a great but very hot week.

I've been working a lot and coming up on on one year at my new job.  I'm definitely not going to stay, but am going to continue for another year to save up enough so that I can quit and take some solid time off from work to just take care of myself and my family.

I've not been working out at all, no running, and I really miss it.  I also gained 10-15lbs so I'm in the mid 190's.  Not sure exactly because I've not weighed myself - I just know my 14's are button-able, just not comfort-able! :)  I'm not going to weigh myself either - its too depressing and I know will derail my motivation.

I have signed up for a half marathon in September, so I've only got 8 weeks to train for it, and in this heat, that's going to be really difficult.  But its the motivation I need to get going again.  I've been eating fairly healthy overall, with weekly splurging, and drinking more alcohol than I should.

These 10-15lbs have really made a difference in my clothes and my stomach/waist.  I'm very surprised at just how much which is the motivation I need to lose them!  I'll feel so much better!

I hope everyone is doing great out there - I look forward to reading blogs again and getting motivation from everyone!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fell off the running wagon - but climbing back on!

Following my week out of town, last week, I've fallen off the running wagon.  I also stopped tracking my food.  I ate 5 peanut butter oreos tonight.  Dang it.  It happens so easily.  I didn't want to lose weight and get stronger bad enough to outweigh all the things that get in the way and always will.

But, as I think about how I feel, not sleeping as well as I was when I was running, missing the feeling of balance and perspective over the stress in life, and missing out on the other positive effects of losing weight, I'm hopping back on.  Doesn't matter that I fell off, what matters is doing good most of the time and not beating myself up for slacking off there for a bit.  I still have 3 months until the next race - so I've got plenty of time to train and prepare.  I also know I need to enjoy running at work during lunch while its still cold out.  Goodness knows the spring and summer around here is so hot - its going to be gross to come back to work and feel 'fresh!' because I'll be all stinky and sweaty!  Got to get it in now!

Hope you all are doing wonderfully!  Have an awesome weekend!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Not going to let work get in the way of my work out!

I'm struggling to keep running despite my work schedule.  Its been freezing cold and I've not gone out in it to run at work during lunch as much as I'd planned.  Last week it went so well when I went for runs during my lunch break.  Tomorrow I leave on a business trip through Friday that will bring early mornings and late networking dinners.  Do I get up extra early to run?  Will that make me feel better and also look better?  I think so.  I really do.

My carry on is already full of planned outfits and alternate outfits.  I went shopping on Sunday to prepare for this important week of meetings and meeting everyone in the corporate office.  Not great results as these 10lbs have made such a huge difference in how my 14's fit.  They still fit, but they're tight in all the uncomfortable and self conscious places.  My gut and my butt mostly.

That's motivation enough for me to get it together!  I'm going to wear my workout gear tomorrow and find a way to work out.  I've gotta keep moving, keep running, keep tracking my food!

I tried making Israeli couscous this weekend.  Wow and yum!  I've been eating plain greek yogurt and some homemade chocolate fondue sauce I got the recipe for out of this month's issue of Cooking Light.  It definitely takes care of my sweet tooth for a lot less calories than eating chocolate kisses or other chocolate items.

I'm definitely getting the water in.  I'm eating soup and sandwiches religiously for lunch.  Greek yogurt almost every morning for breakfast.  Just gotta get the need for sweets and overeating when I get home under control.

How are YOU doing?  How are you keeping it going?  Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

No lions, but fish and whales........oh my!

My daughter with a big bunch of fish!

Skip to the last few seconds of the video - you'll see fins right at the end.
I'm sorry this video may make some of you seasick, it was very choppy and trying to balance myself on the waves while taking a video with a cell phone proved difficult for me.  They are little off in the distance - you don't see much - but they are very cool.  And don't make it full screen - it really will make you sea sick!

Well the fishing was fun yesterday - because of 3 things:

  1. My kids had a blast
  2. The bloody mary's were especially nice when consumed on the ocean
  3. We saw WHALES!
I've seen whales washed up on shore here before, but have never ever seen one swimming among the boats only a mile off shore.  We saw four - they swam two together - and it was so cool to see their tail fins come up out of the water and see spouts of water blow up into the air.  SO much fun.  It didn't matter that we didn't catch any fish!  We came in and looked at all the fish that came in - that's what is up in that truck up there.  They take all the fish that are caught in the r*o*ckfish sh*ootout and the donate them to the food bank and local homeless shelter.  That's where all those huge r*o*ck fish were headed.  We then had an amazing dinner of fresh oysters, clams, crab, shrimp at one of my favorite hangouts.  We drank bloody mary's and made orange c*rush's while the whales swam all around for hours.

On the workout front - my core was so sore from all the rocking and rolling in the boat - that I ended up  not running my long run.  Not going to beat myself up, just going to pick up where I left off!

I got my new lululemon jacket and gymbag in the mail on Friday.  What a nice surprise!  If you guys haven't tried their work out clothes yet - I suggest you do.  They've transformed my running and made it so much more comfortable for me.

Have a wonderful week!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Running at work is the key for me

So this week, I've unexpectedly had to work until 730 pm three times.  That means all my runs I'd planned for after work would not have happened had I not.... packed my stuff and ran on a lunch break!!  Yep - I've discovered the key to getting my runs in.  Now I'm only going to pull off the short runs - the 35-45 min runs - but hey - that's better than getting off track!!

I also have gained a ton of water weight b/c I've really been doing a great job drinking 64 oz of water per day.  I thought it was dry winter air that was causing my chapped lips and dry legs.  Nope, its being dehydrated.  That of course means an increase on the scale, but I don't care.  Clearly I needed it.  So I'm officially now at a 12lb gain, I was at 190 2 weeks ago and now weigh 194.  I'm ok with that b/c I know it will come off soon enough.  I need hydration to flush out the fat I'm burning off!

I do feel much more in control and less stressed I know because of the endorphins and the stress relief of running.  My back and legs are sore - but that's understandable.  I hate that my upper back and lower back get so sore for me from running.  I know its because I have a weak core.

I pulled off all my running workouts this week. Yeee haw!!!!  Tomorrow is a 70 min run.  OMG.  That's going to be hard.  Today I ran 50 but needed quite a few 60-120 sec breaks to make it through it.  I CAN'T WAIT until I get back to that place where I can run CONTINUOUSLY!  Its such an awesome feeling!!!

As far as eating - I'm tracking my food and am netting 1200 calories per day (cals from food AFTER I subtract my 300-350 calorie burn from 3-3.5mi running).  Its hard, I'm hungry, and I want chocolate hershey kisses.  I'm surprised at feeling hungry again.  I've been eating so much, I swear, I've not had that sensation in a while.  I don't feel hungry often - its actually late at night and early in the a.m.  I know as I detox from overeating this will change and adjust.  I just have to be diligent at making sure I eat breakfast and keep the protein above the 60g range.

I'm going fishing tomorrow in the beautiful salty ocean tomorrow!  Can't wait!  We're going to have mimosa's on the boat and try not to freeze!  Its supposed to get up to 64 degrees tomorrow - its going to be awesome!!  Then after, I've GOT to muster up the LONG RUN.  I can do it!

Hope you all have a beautiful weekend!  Make the most of it my friends!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

On one of my favorite running slogans....
Today is my official 'rest' day, so no running today.  But I've really enjoyed upgrading my Nike Plus app - that Amy W recommended.  Its awesome!  What I like the best is the mapping and accuracy in your pace.  Its fun to look at and makes you feel accomplished.  You can even replay your run and it shows you the path you took on a google map.  I promise its much cooler than I've described.

I went back to work today and its going to be hard to keep my running schedule while working.  I went into my WORK outlook calendar and scheduled all of my runs from my running program I followed when I had the running coach.  Its a great program that built my endurance and also makes sure you have rest days placed strategically 2x per week after the most strenuous runs.  I feel like having it there - in the calendar I look at all day long.  Because the plan changes what you're supposed to do daily - its also hard to know what and how long to plan to be gone from home.

I also went to the grocery store and planned out and purchased my breakfasts and lunches for the week.  I bought stuff for turkey sandwiches, tuna sandwiches and some hearty soups.  I bought Greek yogurt, some  Green Giant vegetable steamers, and Parmesan Pepperidge Farm goldfish (55 for 140 cals).

I've tracked my food on myplate.com consistently for the last 3 days.  They upgraded their free mobile app on New Years day and its a lot easier to use than it was in the past.  I like using the free myplate.com on my computer also b/c its so detailed and provides really great reporting that I just love.  I've used it for about 3 years now and really like using it.

Today was a slow day but I know things are going to get crazy.  I've got to figure out how to work in some runs at work during the day.  Maybe for my short runs because I can't work all day, then come home and be gone again.  Getting up 3 hours early isn't an option either.  So I'm going to pack my stuff, get dressed at work and try to run my short runs on my lunch break.  

Ok, tomorrow.  Full work day, full running day!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I'm telling you and reminding myself

Its all fun and games until the next day comes...
   Mr. Coconuts and I went out last night with friends (that's not him up there btw - its a friend of mine) and didn't go to bed until 4am this morning.  Really?  That's just stupid.  It included an open bar (which I know caused all the problems), some terrible meatballs,  a lot of dancing to "I'm sexy and I know it", a group of us going into (breaking into?) a friend's house at 2am (hey they left their front door open), and late night Taco Bell run.  Did you guys know Taco Bell stayed open even later last night?  Good thing because there was a line at 3am.  Ok, enough of that.  Bad choices last night for sure - but it was a lot of fun.  The kind of fun you only need to have once a year.  I'm good with that.

This my new running top from lululemon.  Makes running in the cold much nicer.   See the built in hand warmers?
I ran again this evening around 5pm.  I'd finished making dinner and it just needed time to simmer on the stove.  I made a wonderful vegetable soup using the leftover Christmas ham bone.  But more on that later.  What I really want to tell any of you who are just starting to run and think that its horrible, that this part really does end.  If you stick with it, and go easy on yourself, don't beat yourself up or think the negative thoughts "this hurts" "I can't go any further" "I want to stop" "I'm too heavy to do this" "My <leg, butt, knee, ankle, foot, lungs, ribs, nose, whatever> hurts" or even "I can't go for 20 more minutes."

I was thinking and feeling all those things tonight.  And when I really needed to stop, I did.  I don't want a negative emotion or thought tied to my running.  But the key is that I stopped for no more than 60-120 seconds.  When I had a running coach last year - that's what really stuck with me and made me turn the corner.  The coach said, you need to enjoy running.  With time and consistency, the miles will come.  And he was right.  I know that this place where it really hurts a lot and I just don't want to go any further is only temporary.  I remember being able to run for 8 miles and feel like I could just keep going.  My lungs didn't hurt, my legs weren't fatigued.  

When I do feel negative, and my legs hurt, and my lungs hurt, and I feel weak, I give myself some slack.  I remember that this is only temporary and I stop.  But I make sure to only rest 30 seconds or 60 seconds (his advice).  And then I go again.  Going easy on myself means I don't have those negative thoughts in my head.  Instead, I enjoy the run, I'm kind to myself, and I find the voice in my head being positive and strong.  Not negative and degrading telling me what a failure I must be.  It allows me to appreciate all that oxygen getting pushed into all those cells in my body that is making me healthier.  Sometimes I visualize tiny little champagne bubbles of oxygen coursing through my veins and getting to the parts of me that have been asleep and not touched by fresh new oxygen in a while.  That's weird huh?  I purposefully visualize positive things and instead of thinking about how far I still have to go, I acknowledge how far I've gone already.  It really does make me feel better!

And again, I know this place, where I want to give up - now I know its only temporary.  And it motivates me to keep going to get to that place where I could feel like I could run forever.  My legs could carry me just fine.  I always thought that running always felt negative and really hard.  I'm here to tell you it doesn't.  Its SO powerful and makes me feel so POWERFUL.  I can't wait to run for a long time, and sweat a good  sweat, get those endorphins flowing and torch some calories!

If you feel suck-y right now about exercise or even running.  Just remember, that this is only temporary.  As long as you stick to a plan and are consistent - it actually gets easier and even empowering!

And below is the dinner I made.  My gosh it was awesome and healthy!  I used the ham bone from the Christmas ham, added 2 cans of drained (less sodium that way) Canneli beans, kale, small diced potatoes, carrots, celery onion, a little white wine, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.  A few tiny bits of the ham fell off the bone - but it wasn't a ton in there to make it really bad for you - just enough to make it savory!  Its amazing how something so simple can taste SO great.   We, of course, sang "Boom Boom Pow" while we ate our black eyed peas that I made on the side.   I'm hoping it gives us double good luck this year....

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